An unsafe work place could be likened to a landmine waiting to be detonated. Meaning that if your work place isn’t safe to work in, it is just a matter of time before it causes several damages. In this article, we will highlight proven ways to ensure workplace health and safety measures for employees and how facility managers and employers can take additional measures to make the workplace safer.
A workplace includes the building, surrounding, offices and every room (stores, restrooms, workshops etc.) used for the purpose of work and an unsafe workplace signifies the environmental elements that can cause harm, accidents or even deaths in a workplace. One of the core responsibilities of facilities managers is to ensure that the building and workplace he manages is free from any form of human and operational hazards.
Benefits of Workplace Safety
According to a study, there is a strong link between the condition of a workplace and the level of productivity and job retention. Thus, the facility manager must integrate workplace functionalities and automate processes so that employees can meet their full potentials at work. Productivity brings profit to the employer and grows his/her business and at the same time increases the reward and job retention of an employee in the establishment.
Below are additional reasons why a safe workplace is important;
- A safe workplace leads to a healthier staff. There are visible improvements in their general happiness and job satisfaction.
- A safe workplace leads to fewer accidents.
- There are little damages and repairs and this can reduce the cost of maintenance.
- The safer the work place the more eager employees are to work, thereby reducing absenteeism and even resignations.
Five Workplace Health and Safety Rules for Employees
- Staff must be appropriately dressed: Often times, extravagant or informal attires might cause some safety issues for workers. For example, a sloppy or hanging dress may cause a fall as the user might stumble on the hems or a droopy fringe from the cloth might get caught on a machine causing serious damages. Indecent dressing might cause distractions at work and led to low productivity. In some cases, especially in construction, staff must be required to wear Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) where necessary. In hospitality businesses, employees must wear the appropriate uniforms. These correct usages of “Work Clothing” are in most ways designed to keep you protected. Thus, whether it is something as small as an earplug or as big as a chemical suit, use PPE accordingly.
- Always be aware of your surroundings: The truth is that no matter how facility managers try to make the work place safe, there are always dangerous elements posing threats to employee safety. For example, wrong placement of heavy objects above heights where workers are actively working can cause an accident. There are always risks of some sharp machine, cutting someone, or items causing someone to trip etc. Therefore it is important that we are aware of our surroundings at all times. The more vigilantes we are with our workplace the less likely that we will come to potential harms.
- Take Regular Breaks: It is an important aspect of work and shouldn’t be taken for granted. When we talk about breaks, we do not refer to just food breaks, but from time to time an employee should be able to take minutes away from his/her work. Remember that the more you work, the more tired you become and the less aware you are of your surrounding thereby exposing yourself and others to potential risks and hazards, which will result in failure of project and facility management in the workplace.
- Follow the right Rules and Work Related procedures: Everyone wants a faster way of getting a job done. It is human nature to want that. Work rules and procedures are meant to keep users safe, especially when it involves the operation of machines. Taking a short-cut could be dangerous and may not be worth the few time it saves. Be sure to follow the right rules and procedures at all times, using the right tools as well.
- Report Unsafe Conditions: One way to stop an unsafe condition from becoming an accident is to report it. When unsafe conditions are reported, your employers are prompted to take actions to fix and avert it before it results into an accident. Therefore, make it your responsibility at all time to be a part of project management successes by reporting unsafe conditions.
Five Ways Facility Managers and Employers can Ensure Safety in the Workplace
- Spell out and Enforce Safety Procedures: It is your responsibility as a facility manager to make sure that the Employer put in place safety measures at the workplace for the The first way to do that is to ensure that safety procedures are spelt out and understood by all employees. More importantly, make sure that all employees strictly conform to these safety procedures and best practices. In Addition, ensure that all safety procedures are checked and offenders are disciplined accordingly. Also, provide training from time to time. This acts as a reminder to keep them on track and help them stay on top of the trends of safety procedures around the workplace.
- Keep Emergency Exits: Not just having an emergency exits, also ensure that these exits are clear and free from all sorts of barriers. Make sure that the pathways to the emergency powers/shutoff are kept clear in the case of an emergency that requires that requires an immediate shut down.
- Employ a Health and Safety professional – Allow an occupational health expert to visit your workplace and make recommendations for health and safety.
- Provide safe equipment, plant and machinery: Facility managers and employees alike must always make sure that the right safety equipment and protective attires are worn regularly. Employees should be trained on how to use the plant and machinery appropriately and must meet all safety standards and work ethics at all times.
- Carry out Risk Assessment: As a facility manager, you should carry out risk assessment test from time to time. A risk assessment is compulsory regulation to monitor practices and eliminate or control risk, all in the bid to promote safety at the workplace.
The primary focus of facility management is to ensure the constant maintenance of the business structures and that equipment, machines and people are running smoothly in a way that provides great value to the users. If safety is overlooked in the workplace, it can threaten the existence of that business.
Facility managers and business owners will benefit greatly from training their staff on safety measures and enforce conformity to those measures around the workplace.